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If you use your imagination, Lake Cannon's large and circular shape somewhat resembles a one-dimensional cannonball; however, this is simply coincidental. Dr. John Westcott, a pious Episcopalian, first surveyed this body of water and its surroundings back in 1849. He originally called this sparkling beauty "Lake Canon" with one 'n,' in reference to the Bible. The lake was much larger back then, as it was merged with what are now Spring Lake and Lake Mirror. Its name was not spelled with double 'n's until after the year 1890.
Lake Cannon is part of the City of Winter Haven's "Chain of Lakes," a series of 16 spring-fed Florida lakes that are connected by multiple canals. The chain consists of a northern and a southern section, which add up to an impressive 6,000 acres in total. The Southern Chain includes not only Lake Cannon but also Summitt, Howard, Hartridge, and Shipp Lakes. Lake Cannon is linked to Lake Howard, Mirror, Spring, and Idylwild via canal; and to Deer Lake by an 18-inch culvert pipe.
A part of Florida's West Central tourism region, Lake Cannon has a surface area of 336 acres and an average depth of 13 feet. Lake Cannon Park, a 3.3-acre park, is owned by Polk County and offers facilities like picnic tables, a playground, boat ramp and fishing pier. Real estate and vacation rentals are available. Overlooking Lake Silver, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park features a pavilion, amphitheater, gazebo, picnic tables, and restrooms.
Well known for its fantastic fishing and boating opportunities, Lake Cannon's waters teem with largemouth bass, bluegill, and back crappie populations. Fish attractors -- man-made structures that imitate fish habitats like fallen logs -- have been placed throughout the lake to foster the spawning and proliferation of these species. Additionally, Lake Cannon is stocked with sunshine bass, a type of fish that is most commonly found among the lake's maiden cane and cattail plants. Other activities at Lake Cannon include year-round water skiing and sunset viewing.
Baseball fans will love Chain of Lakes Park, just minutes away from Lake Cannon, a field that both the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians have utilized for spring training. Nature lovers should take advantage of the Bok Tower Gardens -- a national historic landmark centered around an enormous 295-foot tower known as the Iron Mountain. The edifice is made up of beautiful Georgia marble, boasting 57 bronze bells weighing between 17 pounds and 12 tons a piece. Also nearby is the American Ski Hall of fame, home to the first pair of water skis originally owned by Ralph Samuelson (circa 1922).
Another unique point of interest close to Lake Cannon is the Fantasy of Flight exhibit, "An Attraction on a Higher Plane." The museum documents everything from the history of aviation to the restoration and maintenance of antique airplanes. A hang-glider simulator is fun for the whole family, giving the feeling of flight without ever having to leave the building.
With so many things to see and do both outdoors and in, Lake Cannon is a marvelous family getaway. Sparkling waters, fantastic fishing and a convenient location just 28 miles from Orlando ensure that there is something fun for everyone.
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